Math Organization

I get asked a lot what the best way is to store classroom curriculum or units bought on TpT.  If y'all saw my organization you would die.  It's gallon-sized bags with stuff falling out everywhere.  BUT, I have a goal to get all nice and organized this summer.  So, I'll show you what I have started!  So far, I've done this for Third Grade Magic of Math.  I'm going to work on Second Grade later this week!

All of our Math units come with notebook covers within the units.  You can now grab them in one easy to print document HERE!
I put one week inside of a small binder.  If you wanted to put all weeks into a binder you would definitely want a BIG one because some of the units have 300 pages!

I used sheet protectors to house all of my materials.  This makes it easy to just grab what you need to copy super quick!  But, that can add up, so hole punching works just fine :)  I wanted to organize my math by days, so I made tabs that you can grab HERE!  You just fold and tape onto the sheet protector.
Side-note...Did you know that each day of our math curriculum includes ALL of the materials you need for a daily word problem, minilesson, activity, and interactive notebooks.  You don't have to buy a whole bunch of supplemental units because we have included it ALL... even I Can Statements and Vocabulary Cards!
At the front of the unit I put a pencil pouch that I grabbed for less than a dollar!  Here is where I stored any paper manipulatives needed for the week!
What I like about the sheet protectors is that I can utilize both sides of the insert.  I put my daily lesson plan on the front and the pictures of the daily contents on the back.  After that went I in order... Word Problem, Minilesson Materials (all in one page protector...even if there were multiple pages per section), Activities, and Interactive Notebook goodies!
 Another nice thing about the sheet protectors is that I can insert my original documents as well as any examples or sets I've already made.
to keep things from slipping out I just used paperclips so that it wouldn't cause a disaster if tipped over.
Another way to keep cards or small pieces together is by using an envelope.  I just hole punched it and put it right in front of my originals!  This is a great solution because it closes shut and keeps things tidy!
 You don't even have to take it out of the notebook!  You just raise up the flap and get out what you need :)
I feel so much better about all the files I had shoved in every nook and cranny.  It's definitely a process to put everything into notebooks, but boy it sure does help!  Now I can flip to a day, see the lesson plan, and all of the materials that I need are organized and easy for me to see!

Click below for the organization tools in one easy download!

I will be doing the same thing for 2nd grade math organization, so I'll share a link for those binder covers, spines, and tabs later this week! 

And, just in case you didn't know...
Our entire 3rd Grade Magic of Math Curriculum is complete!  We've got 38 weeks of math instruction that will amp up your math block!  Want to know more about Magic of Math?  Read about it HERE!

Interactive Notebook Journal FREEBIE

Hey hey there! We know that many of you are enjoying long and lazy summer days. We also know that many of you are still trucking away in your classrooms and our thoughts are with you! We wanted to give you some extra insight into Rooted in Reading and especially give you an idea of how we (and by we I mean Katie because I lack in the Organization department BIG time!) set up our interactive notebooks with students.

If you have NO idea what we are talking about when we say "Rooted in Reading" read THIS POST here to see all about the 2nd grade version.  You can also look at the Bundle or the August unit by itself.  The previews are very detailed, so we hope that answers a lot of your questions!
If this is your first time using interactive notebooks, having them organized from the beginning can help you avoid a lot of headaches down the line.  Most 8 and 9 yr olds need the extra help with organization (well, actually... I need a lot of help with organization, ha!), and I think these notebooks will be a great way to scaffold this skill!

Step 1: Clearly mark the covers of your notebooks.  We always had several notebooks for different subjects so this helped lessen confusions.  We have included a color and black and white cover that you can print on bright paper if you would like!

Step 2:  Print out tab dividers on Astrobright paper AND laminate.  We promise the laminating step is key to having these bad boys last!  If you have a parent volunteer that helps this would be an AWESOME project for them.  In the past, we have always had parents that would volunteer from home even when they couldn't come to school.  Send home one example and all of the supplies and let parents take part in the organization fun!
Step 3:  After cutting dividers out, use clear packing tape to put your dividers into your notebooks. The order we chose was Anchor Charts, Comprehension Activities, Vocabulary Words, Daily Deep Dive, and Grammar. Before doing this you will want to think about how long you want to use the notebooks.  We personally like a notebook per semester so we put enough pages between each divider to get us through the semester!  We also suggest lining up the tabs so only the bold words stick out the side- cover up the cursive word with the clear tape.  If you are using a standard size composition notebook AND all five tabs, you will also need to overlap them a little!

If you use Rooted in Reading for 2nd Grade, I would just simplify this and use only the Comprehension, Vocabulary, and Grammar Tabs.  Less is more with the little ones!
Step 4:  Glue in the book list to the inside of the notebook on the first page.  Either one or two copies depending on how many books you plan on covering using this spiral.  We LOVE this addition because we think students will love looking back over the list of books that they have so lovingly studied this year.  We also think the genre column is a key component for test-taking skills!
You can find all the materials we used in a freebie found in Katie's store Here!  If you have other great ideas for setting up notebooks, we would love to hear them!  If you are on instagram use our hashtag "RootedinReading3rd" (#RootedinReading3rd or #rootedinreading) and we will definitely check you out!

Phew now that we have those kids all set up, we can talk about YOU- the teacher!  Katie's personal favorite way to store our units is in binders.  She spent a couple hours one morning and printed all four weeks of August out.  She went ahead and laminated the anchor charts and prepped the nonfiction mini-readers so the students can see an example.  Don't they look pretty?!?!  I'm not even going to show you how I organize a unit.  Picture ziploc baggies with materials popping out!  I'll just leave you with a look at how Katie organizes!
We even have binder spines for each book so you can feel extra organized!
You can find everything you need for organizing your teacher binders in the freebie below! 
If you have previously used Rooted in Reading for 2nd Grade OR you are planning to use it in the future, we have started making updates to our units.  So far we have August, September, and October updated.  If you want to spice up your organization, we have all of the updated covers and binder spines for 2nd Grade HERE!
Other Blog posts you may want to check out to learn more about Rooted in Reading:


We hope you enjoy your summer and get LOTS of much needed rest!

Sharks: Part Two

Did you see my shark post from yesterday?  If not, click HERE!

Today I want to show you a couple of more activities that the students just LOVED during Shark Week!

Last year I read The Doorbell Rang, but I used a little booklet I made and Cookie Crisp for the kids to manipulate.  You can see that HERE.  I wanted to read the book again, but I decided to have the kids play Feed the Sharks while we were reading the book.  I gave each student 12 shark cards (I used THIS clipart from TriOriginals) and 12 Swedish Fish.
As we read the book we modeled the division problems with our sharks and fish.  The students had to divide the fish evenly out among the sharks.
They had a blast feeding the sharks!
Afterwards, students got to sample a couple of Swedish Fish.  They took the rest home in a baggie to eat later :)
Since they had already learned division, this was definitely more of a review!
During reading we continued to learn new info about sharks.  We focused on the nonfiction text features and vocabulary.
After reading, we talked about the different parts of the shark's body that the book mentioned.  We went through and labeled the Parts of a Shark using this activity from Rooted in Reading.
Seriously, if it involves a shark... they think it's the best thing ever!
We also talked about all of the vocabulary words from the book.  We played a silent matching game with the words and definitions.  I gave each student either a word or a definition, spread them out all over the room, and gave them three minutes to find their match (vocab word to definition) WITHOUT talking.  They had to read each other's cards and use nonverbal communication to figure it all out!  

We also used this vocabulary flap-up to write down the definition of the vocabulary words in our own words.
After all of that it was time for a little cooperative learning!  This activity actually comes from a STEM project by The Teacher Studio called Help Harry.  I gave the students a mission.  They had to SAVE THE SEAL from the shark.

Here's what I gave each group of three students:
12 pipe cleaners
3 pieces of tape
2 pieces of foil
1 rubberband
2 notecards
1 paper cup
a seal to save!

Groups had to work together to plan out how they were going to save the seal.  I gave them an image of a shark popping out of water to put on the ground.  They had to build a structure that would lift their seal far above the shark!  It is always so neat to see what they come up with!
My only rules were:  You have to use everything in your bag.  You cannot use anything extra.  

Here's how some of the students Saved the Seal!
This group said they created a force field that would electrocute the shark if it came near :) 
A couple of the groups had to completely start over several times because they didn't make a plan first.  It was a great learning experience for everyone!  Those that worked together, made a plan, and thought through each step were so much more successful!  Sometimes we have to let our students fail so that they can learn from their mistakes and try again :)  It's not an easy thing to watch, but it will soooooooo help them in the long run.

And that's that!  I hope you enjoy the end of the year with your students :)

Sharks: Part One!

Do you study sharks in your classroom?  The students get so into learning about these guys!  One of our focuses in May's Rooted in Reading is Shark Week.  I must say, it's one of my favorites!
Students love to learn any little piece of information about sharks and they are always so eager to share what they already know!  After reading our informational book about sharks, I had the students help me create an anchor chart to showcase what they know so far.  They worked in groups to brainstorm ideas.
Then the students came up, shared their idea, and added it to our anchor chart.
They can definitely keep adding to it throughout the week, but I love how it showcases the focus for the week and anchors the learning.  You can find the anchor chart pieces HERE.
Looking for a good video?  This one is just the perfect length and uses a lot of the same vocabulary as the book we use for Rooted in Reading!
Students also used this little informational reader from our unit to gain even more knowledge about the different types of sharks.
They got into groups and went through the facts about sharks together.  They discussed the interesting information with their partners.
After that it was time to have a little fun creating!  I got the idea to make a shark out of newspaper from I Heart Crafty Things.  I must admit... it was a little difficult finding paper that was appropriate for second graders to use!  I had to search big time!

We did this similar to a directed drawing where I just went through the steps with them.  I didn't give any templates, but I led them through the process.

After creating our sharks, we wrote about our four favorite sharks from the informational reader on a flapbook.  Once again, I just showed students how to create their flapbook.  I didn't give them a printable.  We folded and cut together, and not a one of them messed up!
How precious are they??  I love art projects like this that showcase their creativity and little personalities!
It's just all in the details!  So precious!
I'll be back tomorrow with Sharks:  Part Two!  I've got some more fun ideas to share with you!  You can also see what we did last year HERE!  Until then, get your shop on at the TPT Teacher Appreciation Sale!

Duct Tape Wallets and Financial Literacy

Have you ever made Duct Tape wallets with your class?  Today was the first time I've ever done it.  Not sure that I'd ever do it again, but it was memorable, ha!

There are SOOOOO many ways to make them... just search Duct Tape Wallets on Pinterest and you'd be amazed!  {THIS} is the tutorial I used.  I will say that it was easiest to teach about four students to do it and then allow them to help the rest of the class.  But, goodness, there was a lot of wadded up duct tape throughout the process!!!
1.  Cut 3 strips of tape- about 11-12 inches long (do this twice).  Overlap three strips just a little so that they stick together to make one sheet.  Do this with both sets of three strips!  
2.  Put the 2 sheets together- sticky side in.  Trim the edges.
3.  Fold the bottom up- a little more than a third of the way.
4.  Use duct tape to seal the two edges.  Cut extra off.
5.  Use velcro to secure.  You can cut the flap to add a little extra pizazz :)

Even if I wanted to pull my hair out, it was worth it because the students LOVED it.  They got a little frustrated throughout the process, but I think they could totally do it on their own now... and they are so excited to have their very own little wallets that they made with their own two hands!
Really they are just little pouches, but they are super sturdy.  You could use these for a number of things in the classroom- especially for ticket or coupon holders!
 I may have #allthegrayhairs now but I have to admit they are pretty stinkin' cool!
 Since the students are starting Personal Financial Literacy, we stored a whole bunch of paper money so that we would have it on hand for the next few days!  After we had our wallets and money all ready to go, we did review counting coins and making different amounts.  It's been a while, so we did a quick refresher!
 Then it was time to start talking about spending money.  We played a game from Magic of Math Unit 5-Week 3!  
 Students worked in groups to solve money word problems together.  They used their wallets and money to act out the money situations.  There are higher-level questions that incorporated several skills the students have learned throughout the year.  I was so pleased with how well they did :)
 Students took turns reading the word problems and asking students to act out the problem!
 They continued doing that until they had purchased all of the items from the ice cream truck!
Tomorrow we are going to dig into Saving and Spending!  Let's see if the students are willing to give up some of the money from their wallets or if they are more prone to saving it for later!  Looking for more financial literacy activities?  Here are some from our 2nd grade unit:
 

And here are some from our 3rd grade unit:
 

 
If you have any tips on making duct tape wallets with an entire class, leave them below!  I'd love to hear your suggestions!